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KDE Has Made Much Progress On Usability/Productivity, But They're Still Aiming For More

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  • #11
    Speaking about lack of resources. Tracker could replace Baloo. Less fragmentation and less trouble.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by tildearrow View Post

      Awesome! Last time I upgraded my system and noticed that the cursor was faster, I tried configuring it, and was surprised by a total lack of settings when compared to evdev:
      - No pointer emulation with keyboard
      - Pointer speed was a slider without fine-tune control
      - Too much air
      Too much air? What does that mean?

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      • #13
        Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
        Too much air? What does that mean?
        The margin between widgets is much bigger in the libinput configuration UI. I'll post some screenshots tomorrow.

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        • #14
          144Hz

          Well, I really like baloo for its features. Full-text search on pdf is quite useful to have, etc.

          But the other day, my father was complaining that his computer was slow since I updated it. I had a look, and saw two baloo_file constantly pegging the two CPU cores, as well as filling the whole ram and swap space. The computer was almost unusable

          I killed the processes, but they started back. "balooctl stop" doesn't stop the baloo_file processes, the plasma UI didn't disable it, but balooctl disable seems to have fixed it.

          Looks like baloo is a good feature, but it would be better if it was only indexing when computer is idle, connected to external power, and quickly stops in favour of the user's programs. I noticed it had a nice value of 19, but that does nothing for disk i/o (I didn't check ionice), especially when swapping.

          (ok, this is now a rant, mostly aimed at raising awareness of these issues, but I'm taking suggestions on how to improve this, and would welcome better defaults. Obviously that doesn't have much to do with KDE)

          I've said for many years now that Linux distros' OOTB performance is exemplary, except in two (arguably linked) cases: a lot of disk I/O causes apps to lag (even the mouse pointer), and swapping causes the computer to slow to a crawl (SysRq+F quite often helps me recover an otherwise completely unusable system, where you can't move the cursor, change TTYs, ssh in or interact trough a serial console).
          It's a shame that baloo often triggers both these edge-cases simultaneously on a number of my systems, especially the more underpowered ones.

          Try to run pacman -Syu on a usb stick or slow disk and watch your system becoming completely unresponsive (even the GUI cursor) until the update is done, even with ionice. Not sure bfq helps much with this :/

          For swapping, zram swap often helps, but more so if you have a beefy CPU. Removing swap doesn't help much as Linux seems to prefer (IIRC) removing the programs' stack from RAM, and loading it back from disk, which slows everything down. I would often be better off if OOM was to kill offending programs (maybe swap them out first, then ask the user for confirmation).
          I am not sure there is a way for a program to reliably query free memory? In my experience malloc() always succeeds except in the extreme cases.
          A LOW_MEMORY signal would be nice, maybe also a REDUCE_MEMORY and a few other, especially if the desktop environment could send those and control swapping.
          I'd swap out processes in a long-running, scarcely used activity, for instance. And ask them to reduce their memory footprint before swapping. The Android model isn't so bad in that regard.

          (ok, I'm done )

          Edit:
          ngraham , if I had a wish for a small productivity/usability fix, it would be to "fix" the selection mode drop-down in the Okular toolbar. There is a down arrow, but I was never able to trigger it (right click or click on the arrow). I would just like to quickly change the selection mode (text, area, table) from this button
          I'd look at it, but I suspect it would be a quick fix for someone familiar with Okular or just KDE apps in general

          I was quite negative in the above points, but those are the only remaining really annoying edge-case for me (oh, maybe AMD GPU resets/hangs, but that's being worked on), and I've been really happy to see KDE smooth out the edges, while reading about it in your blog. Thanks a lot for your work!
          Last edited by [email protected]; 06-06-2019, 03:54 AM.

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          • #15
            Huh? Am I in the right thread? No debianxfce claiming that Plasma is old and buggy and XFCE is way superior simply because it has a configurable menu? Can someone point me the way, please?

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            • #16
              Baloo problems always expand into a wall of complex triaging and problem solving Is it really worth fighting this beast?

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              • #17
                I am very happy that they finally fixed the not showing folder / file creation date.
                After years of waiting for this, I can finally see it in KDE Plasma 5.16 beta.
                Now I hope they will have a look at the window resize problems, because this is a usability nightmare.

                I thought that I'm the only one having problems and losing a lot of time resizing windows compared to Windows OS, but I see other speaking of the same thing:
                https://www.reddit.com/r/kde/comment...izing_windows/
                https://www.reddit.com/r/kde/comment...round_windows/
                The "pixel perfect" thing before the resize handle even appears is really annoying and makes me lose a lot of time.

                If KDE developers don't see this as a problem for them and don't want to change the defaults, it would be nice if they could add an option in the configuration so we cand set the the edge and corner handles like this guys are talking here:
                https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=117983
                Not only that is pretty bad on 2K screen, but from what I saw, on 4K screen is even worse.
                Also the resize corner (bottom-right) has no visual hint on it and has the same problem being very hard and slow to pinpoint the actual pixel that shows the resize handle.
                I see this as a big usability problem.
                I hope they can copy what Windows OS does, because there everything is very good on both 2K and 4K screens.

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                • #18
                  I wonder if anyone noticed Baloo improvements anymore. By now, I expect there are two user categories: those that aren't annoyed by Baloo as it is and those that are and have disabled it ages ago.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by ngraham View Post
                    Both. Blue systems (my own employer) is currently sponsoring one full-time KWin developer and several others contribute part-time. Please do give it a shot!
                    That's awesome! Blue Systems is great - give Clemens a hug from me ;-)

                    But do you think you could ask him to get the developer(s) laptops with external monitors attached to a docking station? The support of that in KWin/Plasma is terrible (on my private notebook with DP over USB-C as well as in my team with Thinkpads in their native docking stations - both intel only). Every morning I see some developer (at least the few that are using KDE; me included) either dock and redock over and over again or reconfiguring with kscreen/scripts and after that reorganize all the windows manually as they are moved outside of the screenspace and/or the width was reduced to the minimum. (Arch Linux, openSUSE and Manjaro) This means only KDE fanboys are still using it on multi-monitor setups (two external screens+laptop internal one) around here.

                    And please tell your colleagues how happy we are that you are working on KDE - for free or as a job!

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by bug77 View Post
                      I wonder if anyone noticed Baloo improvements anymore. By now, I expect there are two user categories: those that aren't annoyed by Baloo as it is and those that are and have disabled it ages ago.
                      Speaking of disabling Baloo, do you know what functionality would I lose? Every time I boot my laptop I have a message about Baloo having crashed, so it probably isn't doing anything anyway, right?

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